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State Level Workshop on Promotion Of Climate Resilient Livelihood
Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) organized a one day workshop on promotion of
Climate Resilient livelihood under the GoI-UNDP DRR-CCA Programme on 12th May 2015 at the
Conference Hall of the Circuit House, Guwahati. Over 60 participants attended the workshop. IN the
workshop the report on the study ‘Scoping analysis on climate change impact on livelihood in Assam ’
done under the aegis of GoI UNDP programme was shared with the participants.
The workshop concluded with decision on the road-ahead for the future course of action in regard to the
promotion of climate resilient livelihood.
Climate Change and Occurrence of high intensity Floods
Experts predict that with global warming, the Himalayan river basins like that of the Brahmaputra river
may experience increased summer flows and more flooding for a few decades initially, due to rapid
melting of Himalayan and Trans-Himalayan snow and glaciers. While such melting of glaciers leads to
increased dry season runoff in the short term, in the long-term there could be a decline of dry season
river runoff from glaciers, turning perennial rivers like the Brahmaputra into seasonal river systems.
Impacts on livelihoods
The impact of water stresses and hazards on all aspects of people’s lives and livelihoods is remarkable
and profound at individual, family, and community levels (Barua et al.2003; Barthakur 2000). It is, in
general, true that villagers have become poor, marginalized, and more vulnerable to environmental as
well as socioeconomic changes because of the impacts of floods and associated hazards over the years.
Each year, floods leave them more susceptible to the next year’s flood, creating a vicious cycle of impacts
and vulnerability. Within a community or a site, however, communities or families are impacted in
different ways depending on the environmental, socioeconomic, and cultural characteristics of the groups
or families. There are a few households and individuals who do better than others in spite of the fact that
they share the same experiences of water stress and hazards. Moreover, the state of the community in
terms of education, job holders, social security network etc. also makes a difference in the impacts on the
The already visible Climate Change impacts, signal the need for mitigation measures that minimises
current vulnerabilities of the people. These measures should be based on livelihoods for the poor and
vulnerable communities. In order to make these communities resilient it is imperative to understand the
dynamics of livelihood of the poor and vulnerable people because it is only then, one can learn how these
marginalized group will be affected by climate change and how the mite respond with the resources they
have, and how these conditions can be reflected and built upon for successful adaptation strategies. By
Press note
protecting and enhancing the natural services that support livelihoods, vulnerable communities can
maintain local safety nets and expand the range of options for coping with disruptive shocks and trends
A number of studies have been conducted on Climate change impacts in Assam and some of the key
findings are:
One of the major implications of climate change is its effects in Forest and Agriculture. Assam
being in the 7 biodiversity hotspots in India with huge species diversity is going to lose its
resources with the direct impact of climate change in its forests. This necessitates the
development and promotion of effective mitigation and adaptation strategies for a climateresilient agriculture production system in north-east India. Promotion of alternative livelihood,
stress resistant crop varieties; proper dissemination of agriculture technology can help to
maintain the productivity.
With flood is associated a much greater problem of erosion which is leading to loss of agriculture
lands and also habitat loss. To sustain this proper Integrated Flood and Riverbank Erosion Risk
Management system with the use of new technologies like improved embankments and river
guidance systems is required. Promoting alternative livelihoods for the peoples living near the
riverbanks can be suitable adaptation mechanism.
The impact of climate change is more prominent among those marginalized people who are
economically and socially deprived. A means of mitigation in the form of risk reduction or risk
sharing tool needs to be developed to help those marginalized to sustain their livelihood. Micro
insurance can be good option along with financial incentives with proper identification of target
Strengthening the knowledge and data base of the effected regions along with developing socially
and economically feasible adaptation measures would immensely help in enhancing the
adaptation capacity of the communities
 Identification of most vulnerable groups from the society for the climate change related disaster
impacts and developing measures to protect their livelihood means should be a priority.
Improved agricultural infrastructure, health care infrastructure, communication and coordination
among various stakeholder groups, line departments of Government, proper risk sharing tools like
insurance etc. can help to enhance adaptation capacity.
Press note